Anorexia nervosa Definition
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder affecting mainly girls or women, although boys or men can also suffer from it. It usually starts in the teenage years.
Anorexia nervosa – CAUSE
The cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, although it is likely that both inherent biological factors and factors in the patient’s social environment play a part. The disease is mainly encountered in the western world and is more common among women in certain professions, such as models and ballet dancers. Puberty, deaths in the family and other life stresses are all believed to be potential triggers of anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa SYMPTOMS
Weight loss of at least 15 per cent below the normal ideal body weight for a person of the same age and height.
Cessation of periods or delayed development in puberty.
Self-induced weight loss. Methods can include fasting, low food intake, excessive exercise, diuretic medicines (medicines that make you urinate more) laxatives, diet pills or vomiting. Sometimes people make themselves sick to lose weight. Others take excessive exercise.
Sufferers have a constant fear of gaining weight, as well as a feeling of being fat, even when their weight is much less than that of other people of the same height.
Sufferers may feel bloated, even after a small meal.
They may lose interest in socializing with friends.
Other side effects include tiredness, feeling cold, constipation and stomachache.
Some patients also develop additional disorders such as bulimia.
Anorexia nervosa – Facts and Statistics
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.
- 25% of college-aged women engage in binging and purging as a weight-management technique.
- The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old.
- Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives
- Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.
- An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14 Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.
- 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.
Anorexia nervosa – HOW DIAGNOSIS IS DONE?
Body weight is maintained at least 15 per cent below that expected for a person’s height.
It is self-induced weight loss caused by avoiding fattening foods and may involve taking excessive exercise, using laxatives or diuretics or self-induced vomiting.
There is a strong, almost overwhelming fear of putting on weight, with sufferers preoccupied with the shape or size of their bodies.
Rules are invented regarding how much food is allowed and how much exercise is needed after eating certain amounts of food.
Those suffering from anorexia pursue a very low ‘ideal’ weight.
The weight loss may cause hormonal disturbances and women with anorexia nervosa may stop having periods.
Anorexia nervosa Treatment
Treatments used include individual psychological therapy, family therapy and drug therapy using antidepressants.
Anorexia nervosa – Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic medicines are known to have deep effect on human economy and have been found effective in various psychological and developmental disorders. The focus of homeopathy is not to treat the isolated symptoms of Anorexia but to treat the child as a whole. Not only the symptoms of Anorexia but also the general physical and mental constitution of the patient, past medical history, medical history of parents, information about pregnancy and vaccination – all are used to find the probable cause in a given case and based on the final analysis a remedy is chosen for a patient. The following medicines may help in the treatment of Anorexia:
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Join some support groups and get the disorder treated at the earliest.